PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Senior guard Cate Cianchetti (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) had game-highs of 15 points and six assists against her former team but it was not enough as Lake Erie College (10-3, 4-2 GLIAC) fell to the University of Findlay (10-5, 4-4 GLIAC), 71-69, in a GLIAC South matchup at the Jerome T. Osborne Center in Painesville, Ohio.
Three more Lake Erie players reached double figures as senior guard Britt Busson (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth) scored 12 points, coming on four three-pointers, and added five assists. Senior post players Alyssa Wagers (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) and Stephanie Rogers (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) added 10 points each as Wagers also pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. Findlay had three scorers in double figures led by center Tai Dotson with 15 points in just 13 minutes.
Lake Erie opened the contest with a Cianchetti three-pointer and led for the game's first five minutes. Trailing 9-7, Findlay went on an 11-2 run to go ahead 18-11 at the 9:34 mark as Lake Erie went over five minutes without a point. Cianchetti answered with the game's next five points and Lake Erie's next eight but the Storm still trailed 27-22 with four minutes to go in the half. The Green and White went on a 7-1 run to retake the lead on a pair of free throws by senior forward Allison Pavkov (Stow, Oho/Stow-Munroe Falls) but it lasted just 15 seconds as the Oilers retook a 31-29 advantage at 2:25 on a three-pointer by Ashley Andrews. A key five-point possession, including an intentional foul extended Findlay's lead back to seven at 36-29 but Lake Erie scored the final five points of the half, including a three-pointer by Busson with six seconds in the period.
Findlay extended its lead to four with the opening bucket of the second half but neither team would again lead by more than two points in the next nine minutes. Lake Erie took the lead at 40-38 after back-to-back three pointers by Caiola and Busson at 18:17. There would be five ties and several lead changes over those next nine minutes. Findlay eventually ran off an 8-0 run as two straight threes gave the Oilers a 55-49 advantage with 10:03 to play. The Storm again found the answer as back-to-back threes by Busson and Pavkov tied the game for the ninth time a 55-55 with 8:13 to play. Findlay went back ahead but could not separate themselves as Lake Erie trailed just 64-60 with two minutes to play. A pair of Rogers free throws cut that to 64-62 with 1:54 to play and a Caiola steal set up the game's key play. A Lake Erie inbounding turnover led to a fast break layup-and-one for Saira House to give Findlay a 67-62 lead with 1:21 to play. Rogers immediately responded with a layup with 1:05 to play but two foul shots by Kaleigh Kenny with 46 seconds left put the Oilers back up five. Lake Erie came up empty on its next two possessions rendering a Rodgers layup with four seconds to play and a buzzer-beating half court shot by Cianchetti not enough for the 10-3 Storm.
Lake Erie relied on a heavy dose of three-pointers to stay in the game, going 12-of-22 from behind the arc. However the Storm was just 10-of-33 inside the arc, shooting 40.0% (22-of-55) overall. The Oilers outrebounded the Storm, 39-27.
Lake Erie returns to action Saturday with another GLIAC South showdown against the Tiffin University at 1:00 p.m.